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Emma A Nilsson

Assistant researcher

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Epigenetic differences arise during the lifetime of monozygotic twins

Author

  • MF Fraga
  • E Ballestar
  • MF Paz
  • S Ropero
  • F Setien
  • ML Ballestart
  • D Heine-Suner
  • JC Cigudosa
  • M Urioste
  • J Benitez
  • M Boix-Chornet
  • A Sanchez-Aguilera
  • Charlotte Ling
  • Emma A Nilsson
  • P Poulsen
  • A Vaag
  • Z Stephan
  • TD Spector
  • YZ Wu
  • C Plass
  • M Esteller

Summary, in English

Monozygous twins share a common genotype. However, most monozygotic twin pairs are not identical; several types of phenotypic discordance may be observed, such as differences in susceptibilities to disease and a wide range of anthropomorphic features. There are several possible explanations for these observations, but one is the existence of epigenetic differences. To address this issue, we examined the global and locus-specific differences in DNA methylation and histone acetylation of a large cohort of monozygotic twins. We found that, although twins are epigenetically indistinguishable during the early years of life, older monozygous twins exhibited remarkable differences in their overall content and genomic distribution of 5-methylcytosine DNA and histone acetylation, affecting their gene-expression portrait. These findings indicate how an appreciation of epigenetics is missing from our understanding of how different phenotypes can be originated from the same genotype.

Department/s

  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology

Publishing year

2005

Language

English

Pages

10604-10609

Publication/Series

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Volume

102

Issue

30

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

National Acad Sciences

Topic

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • epigenetics
  • histones

Status

Published

Research group

  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1091-6490